Regional Development Officer
New Appointment of Steve Aisthorpe as Regional Development Officer
A HIGHLY experienced former mountaineering instructor is now attempting to scale new heights as he seeks to promote the Church of Scotlandís role in the North Highlands and Western Isles.
Steve Aisthorpe, who hails originally from Grimsby, Lincolnshire, has just succeeded the Rev Richard Gibbons as regional development officer for the Church of Scotland Mission and Discipleship Council.
He was welcomed by members of Inverness Presbytery at this monthís meeting.
Mr Aisthorpe (44), who lives at Kincraig, Strathspey, with his wife Liz and sons John (11) and Scott (9), works from an office in the Mission Hall in North Kessock .
He served as assistant warden at the Badenoch Christian Centre in Kincraig in the mid-1980s, before working as a mountaineering instructor and guide around the Highlands, in the Alps and in the Himalayas .
"It was through visiting Nepal nine or 10 times to climb that God challenged me about the needs of that country and after a period of preparation at the All Nations Christian College, Liz and I began work with the International Nepal Fellowship, a Christian mission in Nepal, in 1995.
We served the Lord in Nepal for 12 years. That was a time of explosive church growth and civil war. For the last five years there I was director of INF and led the mission through a period of extensive change, to establish its work under local Christian leadership and management."
His main remit is to help strengthen congregations in the areas of mission and discipleship. Part of that remit, he stresses, is to make resources available to remote congregations which may not be aware of whatís on offer.
"Iíll start with a small number of local congregations who may be involved in doing something innovative," he added.
"If you think there may be some way in which I can offer support, please contact me."
Mr Aisthorpeís office telephone number is 01463 731712 and his e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The Regional Development Officer for the Presbyteries of Inverness, Ross, Sutherland, Caithness, Lewis, The Uists, Lochcarron and Skye and Lochaber is based here in Inverness, this post, currently vacant, comes under the Council of Mission and Discipleship whose remit for the church is:
- Take a lead role in developing and maintaining an overall focus for mission in Scotland, and to highlight its fundamental relationships with worship, service, doctrine, education and nurture.
- Take a lead role in developing strategies, resources and services in Christian education and nurture, recognising these as central to both mission and discipleship.
- To offer appropriate servicing and support nationally, regionally and locally in the promotion of nurturing, worshiping and witnessing communities of faith.
- To introduce policy on behalf of the church in the following areas: adult education and elder training, church art and architecture, congregational mission and development, doctrine, resourcing youth and childrenís work and worship.
In the past Regional Development Officer has been involved in a servicing role to both presbyteries and congregations which has enabled him to assist congregations who are seeking renewal and development with mission as their driving force. This role also allows the Development Officer to offer additional training courses and resources to both presbyteries and congregations. Possible further development of seminars may take place in the following areas:
- Recognising and Responding to Cultural and Congregational Change
- Developing Leadership Skills
- Managing Conflict
Mr Steve Aisthorpe is to be the speaker at the Decempber meeting of the Presbytery of Inverness.